The final match of preseason is upon us, and that means the season itself is practically just a week away. Are we ready? Maybe, maybe not. Is anyone ever ready?
With nine goals scored in the last two games, Chelsea look ready on the attacking end of things. With six goals conceded during that same span, Chelsea look not quire ready on the defending end of things. We’ve seen 25 goals total in the six preseason games — that 4.2/game average is in the neighborhood of the modern (i.e. last ~40 years or so) club record of 4.8 over a 10-game span under Di Matteo.
One more chance for carefree fun then.
Date / Time: Saturday, August 3, 2019, 16:00 BST; 11am EDT; 8:30 pm IST
Venue: Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany
Forecast: Afternoon thunderstorms leading to cooler night
On TV: ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes (USA); elsewhere
Streaming online: Chelsea TV (UK/Ireland, audio only), ESPN+ , ESPN Deportes+(USA)
UPDATE: Due to the rules regarding football shown on Saturday afternoons in the UK, the game will not be shown live on Chelsea TV. — the rules are in effect already since the lower leagues have begun play now. Chelsea TV will have live audio / match commentary. The match itself will be available on tape delay for free on the website and the app at 18:00 BST.
Borussia Mönchengladbach team news: After finishing fifth and just outside the Champions League spots last season, Borussia also face having to replace former Chelsea loanee Thorgan Hazard, the creative fulcrum of the team, who moved to Borussia Dortmund. New head coach Marco Rose, coming over from RB Salzburg (Chelsea’s previous opponent, incidentally), will hope to do so in large part through Breel Embolo, once of FC Basel, and the highly promising Marcus Thuram, son of Lilian (but playing at the opposite end of the pitch than his legendary center back father).
Borussia are coming off of a 2-0 friendly loss against Athletic Bilbao last Sunday, in which they were missing six first-team players through injury or fitness issues, including the aforementioned Embolo, as well as Christoph Kramer, who’s been lost for the foreseeable future with ruptured ankle ligaments.
This will be their final friendly as well, just like for Chelsea, with a DFB Pokal first round match to follow before the Bundesliga season kicks off in two weeks, at home against Schalke 04.
Chelsea team news: We continue to await the imminent returns of N’Golo Kanté and Willian — UPDATE: N’Golo has traveled! — as well as the slightly further out returns of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rüdiger, and Reece James. Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains much further out.
Tiémoué Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater were left back in London for the trip to Austria — whether they’re included this time or not will be telling as far as what Lampard and Chelsea intend for their futures. Lampard insisted the decision meant nothing so serious after the Salzburg friendly, but we can all read between the lines.
After this seventh and final friendly of the summer, Chelsea will have a week to rest, recover, and refocus for the start of the season. We’re all looking forward to that!
Previously: 8 goals total, 5 of them for us.